Making this mushroom home, was way out of my crafty comfort zone .... the closest I ever get to wet and messy, is paint, glue or modge podge!!! The making of this called for concrete .... the stuff of building contractors, not home crafters - Well, not anymore !!!!
I got the idea from Pinterest, and just adapted it to what I had. They used a plastic lined, hole in the ground for their mushroom cap, I used a planter. So, I thought I'd share with you how I did it, just in case you absolutely, positively cant live without your own mushroom home !!!
To create the mold, I filled a planter with soil, and played with it, until I had the cap shape I wanted. Once I was happy with the shape, I lined it with plastic (I sprayed a little cooking spray onto a piece of paper towel, and just rubbed it over the plastic liner) .... a piece of thick painters drop cloth. You will find that you have grooves in your plastic, it wont be smooth - that's OK, it makes for a more realistic looking mushroom.
Mix up your bag of concrete (a 20lb bag of concrete made this mushroom, and a mixing bowl sized succulent planter). Remember to wear your safety stuff ...... that concrete dust is just nasty !!! Now, if your hubby is really sweet (mine is :-) you can ask him to mix the concrete for you ....... Girls, you really can do this, it's not that difficult. Once it's all mixed up according to the directions on the package, you can fill your mushroom cap right up to the top of your mold ...... pack it down with your hands as you go, to make sure you have no airy spaces in your mold.
For the stem, I cut the top and bottom off a 2l soda bottle. Rub some cooking spray over the inside of the tube. Place it where you want it, and push it into the concrete just a little. Now fill up your tube with concrete.
Next up, the hard part (certainly for me, who just wanted to see what it looked like !!!), leave it to dry. Don't rush this part, as your mushroom needs to be completely dry. I left mine for 4 days.
Now, the moment you've been waiting for ..... demold it. This was as easy as lifting it out of the planter. The plastic had lodged itself in some of the grooves, but a light tug, and it came away very easily. To remove the plastic tube, just clip the plastic bottle, and peel it away. This was why we used the cooking spray, it makes demolding so easy. As you can see from the picture above - a mushroom. All the research I did on finishing
said to leave it to continue drying, unmolded for 3 days, so I did.
I used Yard & Garden paint (available at Hobby Lobby), to paint it. Be warned, concrete is VERY porous, so it drinks up the first few coats of paint. I coated it in 4 coats of white paint. I marked off circles and then finished the cap off, with 3 coats of red paint. Everything I read told me to keep the bottom of the stem unfinished (no paint or sealer), to ensure that the concrete stayed porous ...... I did just that. The underside of the stem is unfinished. I coated the stem and cap with an indoor/outdoor sealer, to offer some protection.
And there you have it - a sweet, garden ornament. To be honest, I'm hooked !!! I want to make a smaller green capped one ....... I think we may have the beginnings of Gnomesville !!!!